IPL 2023: Orange, purple caps: Jaiswal, Deshpande the unlikely contenders

Deshpande, a skiddy seamer who did not quite set the stage on fire in his IPL bow a few seasons back, is doing it now for Chennai Super Kings

Yashasvi Jaiswal (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @virendersehwag)
Yashasvi Jaiswal (Photo Courtesy: Twitter/ @virendersehwag)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

The emergence of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Tushar Deshpande as two of the most unlikely contenders for the Orange Cap and Purple Caps, respectively, is one of the biggest takeaways of the IPL 2023 so far. The competition has now entered its business end with 47 of the 70 league matches being played out till Thursday.

While former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis (Royal Challengers Bangalore) is leading the race for the Orange Cap to be the topscorer of the tournament with 466 runs at a strike rate of 159.58, lying in the second place is the young Rajasthan Royals opener Jaiswal. The precocious 21-year-old, a product of the Under-19 India assembly line, has accumulated 428 runs (159.70) and hit one of the three centuries in this edition of the league so far.

 The race for the highest wicket taker, which has the Purple Cap at stake, has the veteran Indian paceman Mohammed Shami leading the race with 17 wickets from nine matches at an economy rate of 7.05. Deshpande, a skiddy seamer who did not quite set the stage on fire in his IPL bow a few seasons back, is doing it now for Chennai Super Kings – lying in second spot with the same number of wickets as Shami but with an economy rate of 10.77.

A closer look at both tables reveals that six of the top-10 batters are Indians while the overseas professionals in the fray are Faf, Devon Conway, Kyle Mayers and David Warner; as the bowlers’ list is dominated by Indians with only Rashid Khan occupying the sixth spot.

 A conspicuous absentee among the top-10 batters is Jos Buttler of England, who was a runaway winner last season in Royals colours with a whopping tally of 863 runs. He has had a quieter IPL so far, lying in 12th position with 289 runs, possibly content at letting young teammate Jaiswal explode in the powerplays.

Another standout performer among Indian batters has been certainly Rinku Singh, the unassuming Knight who captured the imagination of the IPL fans early in the season with five sixes in that famous last-over win. He has proved to be an unlikely anchorman in the KKR line-up, lying in seventh position with 316 at a strike rate of 148.35.

The race for the top wicket taker is even more fascinating though, with veteran Piyush Chawla’s comeback story being quite a talking point. The cherubic leg spinner, who had been in KKR, Punjab Kings and Chennai Super Kings before, has provided the Mumbai Indians bowling line-up a much-needed dose of variety and experience to claim 15 wickets from nine games (economy rate 7.28) and occupy the fourth position.

 Arshdeep Singh, the lanky Punjab Kings seamer, meanwhile showed he was maturing by leaps and bounds after his international debut as he is in third position with 16 wickets.

 The Top 10

(After Thursday’s matches)

 Orange Cap: 1. Faf du Plessis (RCB) 466 runs;  2. Yashasvi Jaiswal (RR) 428; 3. Devon Conway (CSK) 414; 4. Virat Kohli (RCB) 364; 5. Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK) 354; 6. Shubman Gill (GT) 339; 7. Rinku Singh (KKR) 52.67; 8. Kyle Mayers (LSG) 311; 9. David Warner (DC) 308; 10. Venkatesh Iyer (KKR) 303.

 Purple Cap: 1. Mohammed Shami (GT) 17 wickets; 2. Tushar Deshpande (CSK) 17; 3. Arshdeep Singh (PBKS) 16; 4. Piyush Chawla (MI) 15; 5. Mohammed Siraj (RCB) 15; 6. Rashid Khan (GT) 15; 7. Ravindra Jadeja (CSK) 14; 8. Varun Chakravarthy (KKR) 14; 9. Ravi Ashwin (RR) 13; 10. Ravi Bishnoi (LSG) 12.

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